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Friday, 27 July 2012

International Relocation of Children

International relocation of children is a complex area of family law which requires careful consideration before any decision is made. The primary legislation governing this issue is the Children Act 1989 and the most prominent precedent is Payne v Payne [2001].

Friday, 13 July 2012

Privacy Prevails in Divorce Case

A District Judge has ordered that the parties to a recent divorce case remain anonymous. Reporters were also banned from reporting the financial details of the case to avoid causing embarrassment to the husband and his family.

International Surrogacy - Parental Orders

Many childless couples now look to international surrogacy as a means to become parents. In the UK the rise in the numbers of infertile or gay couples seeking surrogate mothers has not been matched by the numbers of women willing to act as surrogates. This, along with high medical costs, has led to a huge increase in international surrogacy.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

PIP Implants update

PIP implants were banned in 2010 after they were found to contain industrial rather than medical grade silicone gel. The implants were also reputed to have an increased risk of rupturing and a possible link to a rare form of cancer, a link now firmly discounted by medical experts in Europe. The eruption of the scandal in the media caused a great deal of distress for many women.

Issue Estoppel

Estoppel is a long-established doctrine of English law that literally means to stop. Generally estoppel prevents a person who causes another to rely upon acts or words from later denying those acts or words.

Individual Bankruptcy Proceedings

The ongoing financial crisis continues to claim thousands of victims who are unable to manage their debts. Individual insolvency, governed by the Insolvency Act 1986, has been particularly prevalent peaking in 2011 at over 135,000.

Estoppel by Record

Estoppel is a long-established doctrine of English law that literally means to stop. It can be applied in a number of ways to litigation claims but it basically prevents a person who causes another to rely upon acts or words from later denying those acts or words.

Estoppel by Judgment

Estoppel is a long-established doctrine of English law that literally means to stop. It has a wide range of uses but can broadly be described as a rule that prevents a person who causes another to rely upon acts or words from later denying those acts or words. The operation of the doctrine changes according to particular circumstances and there is a rich vein of case law underlying the distinct areas in which it applies.

Employment Contracts – The Basics

Every employee has an employment contract with their employer whether it is written or not. Although there is considerable statutory protection for employees beyond the terms of their employment contract, the legal basis of the relationship remains contractual. Fundamentally therefore the common law principles of contract remain important to the agreement between the parties and any breach of that agreement.

Requirements for Company Accounting

According to the Companies Act 2006 there is a general duty on companies to maintain adequate accounting records. In broad terms this means that companies must submit accounts to the registrar for filing at Companies House on an annual basis.

Striking Companies Off the Register

There are various reasons why a company might be struck off the register such as liquidation or dissolution. Often a company will be struck off voluntarily when the company has ceased trading or the intention is to dissolve the company. However, there are also circumstances in which a company may be struck off by the Registrar of its own accord.

Shareholder Disputes: Pre-emption Clauses

Pre-emption clauses place an obligation on sellers of shares to offer them to existing shareholders first. The clauses are often found in the articles of association of private companies and have been the cause of significant numbers of shareholder disputes.

Preference Shares

Preference Shares are a special type of stock that have features of both debt and equity securities. They are considered hybrid securities which generally rank above equities but are subordinate to debt instruments.

Filing Annual Returns

Every company is obliged to submit an annual return to the Registrar at Companies House each year made up to a date not later than the company’s return date. The annual return is a summary of the company which gives information about the company’s directors, the company secretary, the registered office, the shareholders and its share capital.

Company Filing Procedures

There are various administrative tasks that managers of companies must take responsibility for once a company has been incorporated. These generally relate to ensuring that the Registrar of Companies at Companies House is kept up to date with the information held about a company and that sufficient records are kept in relation to the company’s affairs.

Company Formation

It is essential for those starting a new company to understand the basic requirements and implications of setting up a company. Whether you choose to create your company on-line using a company formation agent or through the more traditional route of a lawyer or accountant, there are various issues that you should be aware of.

Company Accounts

Under the Companies Act 2006 a company must submit accounts in each financial year. The accounting provisions relevant to individual companies vary depending upon a number of attributes including the size of the company, whether the company is a private or public and whether it is listed or unlisted.

Exclusion of Liability

Contracts for the supply of goods and services are subject to the general principles of contract law. Other legislative and common law provisions also apply but they are generally less stringent when a contract is made between two businesses rather than a business and a consumer.

Exclusion Clauses in Commercial Contracts

When two businesses agree to enter into a commercial contract, they are generally free to choose and negotiate the terms of that contract between themselves. In doing so, businesses will often attempt to reduce their potential liabilities under the contract; if insurance is not available or is particularly expensive, for example.

Formation of a Contract

A common misconception is that a contract is simply a written agreement between two parties. This is not the case; a contract may be made orally or even implied - lack of written terms can make a contract harder to enforce but do not necessarily deny its existence. There are also a number of factors that must be satisfied before an agreement is actually deemed a contract.

Hedley Byrne v Heller

Hedley Byrne v Heller is a well known case in English common law that had significant implications in tort for losses flowing from negligent statements. Prior to this case a duty of care was not thought to be recognised outside of a fiduciary or contractual relationship.

Consumer Protection

Consumer protection laws find their origins in the laws of contract and tort. One of the most famous early tort cases was Donoghue v Stephenson in which Mrs Donoghue drank a bottle of ginger beer containing a decomposed snail. Mrs Donoghue did not have a contractual relationship with the drink manufacturer Mr Stephenson and the snail was not visible through the opaque bottle she drank from but the court held that Mr Stephenson had breached his duty of care towards Mrs Stephenson.

Duty of Confidence

Ensuring sensitive commercial information is adequately protected is essential to businesses, particularly in the information age. Practical measures and pre-emptive contractual provisions may not always be enough so there is always potential recourse through the law of confidential information.

Arbitration - When to Arbitrate

Arbitration is arguably the most important form of alternative dispute resolution and it has made its way into a wide variety of commercial spheres. Parties from all over the world have their contract disputes referred to arbitration in England and Wales in relation to intellectual property disputes, maritime disputes, competition and many other issues.

Arbitration - An Introduction

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) has grown hugely in significance over the last decade as a means for parties to settle disputes without resorting to litigation. Popular forms of ADR include mediation, conciliation, expert determination and arbitration. Arbitration is perhaps the most important of these, reflected by the fact that it is the only one enshrined in statute.